The National Academies of Sciences – Gulf Research Program (NAS – GRP)
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Funding Source: BP and Transocean
Controlling Document: Guilty Plea Agreement between BP and U.S. Department of Justice, Guilty Plea Agreement between Transocean and U.S. Department of Justice
Year Awarded: 2016
Dr. Gao is an assistant professor in civil engineering at Texas A&M University. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in atmospheric sciences from Peking University, and her Ph.D. degree in water resources engineering from Princeton University. Dr. Gaois research interests are interdisciplinary, and are focused on several areas indispensable to protecting water and environmental resourcesoparticularly those related to coastal ecosystem sustainability. Her expertise is centered on understanding the impacts of a changing environment on freshwater inflows and the effects of inflows on coastal ecosystems. Dr. Gao uses a combination of in situ observations, state-of-the-art remote sensing, and high-performance modeling approaches to investigate interactions between phytoplankton and oil in the marine ecosystem to provide a better understanding of the role phytoplankton play in altering oil compounds, which phytoplankton functional types are most affected by oil spills, and which functional types are most likely to aid oil decomposition.